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  • FIRST POST
    • chili_pea
    • By chili_pea 5th Jun 17, 8:26 PM
    • 35Posts
    • 8Thanks
    chili_pea
    Dispute with landlord over painted rooms
    • #1
    • 5th Jun 17, 8:26 PM
    Dispute with landlord over painted rooms 5th Jun 17 at 8:26 PM
    Help!

    Has anybody had any experience over a rented property and rooms they have painted a colour that wasn't agreed by the landlord?

    We are leaving the property at the end of this month so have 4 weeks to resolve this before our deposit funds are disputed.

    We moved into a house that had extremely poor up keep of walls and generally needed a fresh paint all over including glossing.

    When we spoke ordinarily to the estate agents about decorating they said it wouldn't be a problem if it's neutral but at this time I had nothing in writing.
    After we decorated I asked the estate agents if we could do some other things and thought I had better get something in writing re the decor.
    Upon receipt of the emails from estate agents the landlady stated Magnolia was fine to be decorated throughout.

    We did not paint it magnolia we actually painted it a very neutral and light stone colour.
    We glossed every single bit of the house and even paid professionals to repair the horrendously damaged wall that was wallpapered.
    We have 100% improved the maintenance of this house and you can clearly see that from the inventory pictures, I.e scratches, dents, holes, chips you name it this house needed it.
    I even found on Google the original photos from when the house went up for sale and you can see the house has not been decorated for a long time.

    With that in mind I feel we have actually improved the dirty brown painted, peeling off wallpapered living room and done the landlord a favour.

    However they are still demanding we paint it all Magnolia, now where do I stand when it comes to my deposit?
Page 3
    • smallholdingsister
    • By smallholdingsister 6th Jun 17, 6:40 PM
    • 3,292 Posts
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    smallholdingsister
    Good answer!

    Looking at the time of your post, I guess maybe your electric went off and came on again at the same time as mine! I have a phone that 'helpfully' wakes me up whenever that happens, and round here it happens a lot!
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I had put it down to the insomnia of house moving, but you might be right!
    • ScarletMarble
    • By ScarletMarble 7th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    • 6,814 Posts
    • 12,509 Thanks
    ScarletMarble
    Also different brands of magnolia paint are different shades!

    I cannot stand magnolia as its cold looking. I have Dulux's Natural Hessian on all of my walls, apart from the 2nd bedroom which has too much stuff in it to move out. Still in builders' magnolia.

    My parents also got NH in two rooms. They have Almost Oyster, Mellow Mocha and Natural Calico to name the ones I remember.

    In my lounge, the decor is browns and creams. Bedroom is pinks, reds and purples and yet the same Natural Hessian paint is used.

    Your LL is a petty moron! Also some people don't like 100% magnolia. Using a different neutral colour adds warmth and may get the place rented out quicker.
    • ScarletMarble
    • By ScarletMarble 7th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    • 6,814 Posts
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    ScarletMarble
    Talk to the LL/invite them over.




    Explain the improvements you have made and gauge the reaction.


    If it is negative, explain your next step without some reasonableness on their side will be to put the holes back in the wall.
    Originally posted by danm
    Your improvements may make the LL to increase the rent by £25-50 pcm for the next tenant!
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 7th Jun 17, 10:55 AM
    • 3,423 Posts
    • 11,248 Thanks
    Out, Vile Jelly
    I would state you've painted it "Magnolia Dawn" using some end of line stuff that was on offer, sorry you've lost the receipt and don't have the old tins left.

    Make sure the property is left spotless, take dated pics and submit your claim.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • chili_pea
    • By chili_pea 8th Jun 17, 9:52 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    chili_pea
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for everyone's responses. They were so helpful when I sent the LL an email stating the colours are not that different in the hallway and the living room has improved drastically.

    However she has replied with good and bad news.
    This was the response:
    would like to point out to the tenants that it was originally agreed they could paint the brown walls in the living room and the walls in the hallway magnolia, not grey. No the rooms were not freshly painted when they moved in but they knew this when they viewed the property, twice, and they still chose to move into the property.

    I agree the pale grey is a neutral colour so I am happy for that to remain. With regards to the feature wall in the living room that they did not ask permission to decorate I am willing for that to be left as it is as I am going to have that wall re papered.

    With regards to the bedroom that they did not ask permission to decorate I am happy for that to be painted magnolia.

    I would like to add that I myself rented several properties before I was able to buy. I would never have changed decor etc without permission as it was not my property to do so.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 9th Jun 17, 8:30 AM
    • 4,850 Posts
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    benjus
    Right, so her position has not changed, she wants magnolia.

    What she did and didn't do when she was a tenant is really of zero relevance here.

    So you now have to choose whether you want to bow to her demands and paint the place magnolia, or refuse and dispute any attempted deductions from the deposit with the deposit protection scheme. Both options have a certain amount of hassle for you, but personally I think you have a good chance at winning a dispute based on what I've read on this thread. Will you need to ask her for a reference or anything?
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • chili_pea
    • By chili_pea 9th Jun 17, 8:39 AM
    • 35 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    chili_pea
    No reference needed, just every penny back preferably haha
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jun 17, 8:49 AM
    • 15,659 Posts
    • 39,151 Thanks
    FBaby
    So what colour are the bedroom walls? Your issue here is that she has compromises she does have point ( unless you can refute it) that you didn't flask for permission so it is very possible that she could get something if goi g to ADR. Saying I would bet no more then the cost of the paint if that so if I were you ans you are happy to wait a couole of months or more to get your money back I'd take the chance.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 9th Jun 17, 8:58 AM
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    benjus
    Asking for the rooms to be painted in magnolia is a clear case of betterment, something which landlords are not entitled to use the deposit money for.

    She has admitted in the email that the place was not freshly decorated when the tenancy started (the point about the tenant accepting it and moving in anyway is completely irrelevant here).

    She is entitled to receive a property that is in the decorative condition it was in when the tenancy started, minus reasonable wear and tear for the duration of the tenancy. Asking for a freshly painted place in her chosen colour is betterment. No reasonable deposit adjudicator is going to say that a place freshly painted in a neutral colour is in worse condition than a place that has not been decorated for some time.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jun 17, 9:04 AM
    • 15,659 Posts
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    FBaby
    Betterment can be argued though when you 'better' the place without permission. The ADR do consider terms of the contract. If there was no clause I would say no chance but there was and OP chose to ignore them. On this basis they can expect some sum to be granted but how much is likely to depend on the adjudicator.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 9th Jun 17, 9:11 AM
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    benjus
    I think the specific point about painting is that it's something that needs to be done periodically, and unless you use a very strong colour you haven't made it any harder for someone to redecorate by doing some decorating yourself. This logic would not necessarily apply to other types of change to the property (e.g. removing a lawn to put down decking).

    Look at it from a financial loss perspective. If the tenant had returned the property in its original condition + wear and tear, the landlord would have to pay to have it repainted if they wanted it to look decent. As it is, if the landlord wants it in magnolia they have exactly the same job on their hands. So no financial loss. The adjudicators are not there to punish tenants for breaching the contract, they are there to assess the financial loss.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • Lokolo
    • By Lokolo 9th Jun 17, 9:21 AM
    • 19,671 Posts
    • 14,679 Thanks
    Lokolo
    "As a tenant I am required to leave the property in the same state as when I started the tenancy minus fair wear and tear. As pointed out by the landlord the walls were not in a good state when moving in. I have since improved this out of my own cost. Upon leaving the property the walls are now in a better state than when the tenancy started and therefore I do not believe the landlord is entitled to my deposit because she does not approve of the colours. When my tenancy ends, should the landlord attempt to use some of my deposit as part of redectoring I will happily take this to the adjudicator. There have been previous cases where it was then awarded to the tenant."

    https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/resources/files/Adjudication%20Digest%20September%202012.pdf

    Example here.

    Maybe write reference that rent was always paid in good time and the property has been looked after during your tenancy?
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 9th Jun 17, 10:24 AM
    • 568 Posts
    • 365 Thanks
    saajan_12
    "As a tenant I am required to leave the property in the same state as when I started the tenancy minus fair wear and tear. As pointed out by the landlord the walls were not in a good state when moving in. I have since improved this out of my own cost. Upon leaving the property the walls are now in a better state than when the tenancy started and therefore I do not believe the landlord is entitled to my deposit because she does not approve of the colours. When my tenancy ends, should the landlord attempt to use some of my deposit as part of redectoring I will happily take this to the adjudicator. There have been previous cases where it was then awarded to the tenant."

    https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/resources/files/Adjudication%20Digest%20September%202012.pdf

    Example here.

    Maybe write reference that rent was always paid in good time and the property has been looked after during your tenancy?
    Originally posted by Lokolo
    But it’s not about ‘improving’ the d!cor in the tenant’s opinion, so the fact that it is in an overall better position now is not enough. (e.g. If the LL had left a 2y old magnolia paint job at the start of the tenancy and the tenant repainted in their choice of colour without permission 6months before they left to a good standard, the property is more ‘freshly painted’ but the LL has the right to charge to restore it to the original magnolia).

    In the OP’s case, the point is that the walls were in a poor condition AND the LL wants to the tenant to change the colour to magnolia. So, if the tenant hadn’t touched the walls, the LL would need to redecorate anyway to change the original brown to magnolia and given further deterioration of the walls by the end of the tenancy.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jun 17, 10:54 AM
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    FBaby
    Who says that the LL would need to repaint the rooms? They could instead choose to rent at a lower price. Betterment is subjective anyway. An older, professionally painted with good quality paint wall might hold a better value then cheap poorly painted walls, I.e going over skirting and ceiling.
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 9th Jun 17, 10:54 AM
    • 3,009 Posts
    • 5,212 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    The landlord has agreed though that some of the redecorating while not what they really wanted is acceptable under the circumstances, it is only one room now in dispute so without knowing how it has been decorated nobody knows whether the tenant putting it back to magnolia is reasonable or not.

    The landlord has admitted it wasn't in the best state decoratively originally, however it may have only needed one coat of magnolia to improve the state. If the tenant has now say painted the room black it will need a significant amount more to get it to a standard where one coat of magnolia is adequate. It could end up needing up to ten coats to cover depending on the quality of the paint used if the base is too dark or vibrant.

    While the landlord can't go for betterment and has to accept fair wear and tear, they also shouldn't be left with something needing that much work to put right. The fact the landlord is happy to accept the other rooms really does suggest that there is something more drastic in the bedroom.


    Personally rather than wasting time arguing over it and potentially losing some of the deposit I'd just buy a tub of trade magnolia as cheap as possible and just slap it on the walls of the bedroom.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 9th Jun 17, 11:21 AM
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    benjus
    Who says that the LL would need to repaint the rooms? They could instead choose to rent at a lower price. Betterment is subjective anyway. An older, professionally painted with good quality paint wall might hold a better value then cheap poorly painted walls, I.e going over skirting and ceiling.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    It's generally assumed that rental properties need to be redecorated every five years or so to maintain a good appearance. If the decoration is older than this, the adjudicators are likely to assume that redecoration would be due anyway at the LL's expense. If the LL chooses to rent it at a lower price they have simply exchanged that expense for a lower income.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • benjus
    • By benjus 9th Jun 17, 11:24 AM
    • 4,850 Posts
    • 2,901 Thanks
    benjus
    The landlord has agreed though that some of the redecorating while not what they really wanted is acceptable under the circumstances, it is only one room now in dispute so without knowing how it has been decorated nobody knows whether the tenant putting it back to magnolia is reasonable or not.

    The landlord has admitted it wasn't in the best state decoratively originally, however it may have only needed one coat of magnolia to improve the state. If the tenant has now say painted the room black it will need a significant amount more to get it to a standard where one coat of magnolia is adequate. It could end up needing up to ten coats to cover depending on the quality of the paint used if the base is too dark or vibrant.

    While the landlord can't go for betterment and has to accept fair wear and tear, they also shouldn't be left with something needing that much work to put right. The fact the landlord is happy to accept the other rooms really does suggest that there is something more drastic in the bedroom.
    Originally posted by Fosterdog
    If that's the case then I'm inclined to agree. I had the impression from reading this thread that the tenant had painted in neutral colours, just not the specific colour the LL wanted. If that's not the case then the LL may have a claim.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jun 17, 12:22 PM
    • 15,659 Posts
    • 39,151 Thanks
    FBaby
    It's generally assumed that rental properties need to be redecorated every five years or so to maintain a good appearance. If the decoration is older than this, the adjudicators are likely to assume that redecoration would be due anyway at the LL's expense. If the LL chooses to rent it at a lower price they have simply exchanged that expense for a lower income.
    Originally posted by benjus
    That's not how adjudication work. They cannot make a decision on the basis of assumption of what the landlord will do next I.e rent again and therefore expected to paint again. After all they could decide to move in the property themselves and not being able to afford redecorating.

    All they will consider is the clauses in the past and wear and tear hence by bet that in such circumstances the LL would get something just not the costs of full redecoration.
    • benjus
    • By benjus 9th Jun 17, 12:36 PM
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    benjus
    That's not how adjudication work. They cannot make a decision on the basis of assumption of what the landlord will do next I.e rent again and therefore expected to paint again. After all they could decide to move in the property themselves and not being able to afford redecorating.

    All they will consider is the clauses in the past and wear and tear hence by bet that in such circumstances the LL would get something just not the costs of full redecoration.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    That's not what I'm saying.

    All contents of a property have an expected lifespan when calculating financial loss, decoration included. Regardless of what the LL intends to do with the property, they will not be deemed to have suffered financial loss if the adjudicators reason that redecoration was "due" and if the tenant has done nothing to hinder that redecoration.
    Let's settle this like gentlemen: armed with heavy sticks
    On a rotating plate, with spikes like Flash Gordon
    And you're Peter Duncan; I gave you fair warning
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 9th Jun 17, 1:09 PM
    • 490 Posts
    • 753 Thanks
    parkrunner
    Correct me if I'm wrong but all the LL wants now is the bedroom to be painted magnolia? If so just do it and all the hassle is over, will cost very little and a small amount of time.
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